Jamieson’s Celestial Atlas 1822
Alexander Jamieson (1782–1850) was a Scottish writer and schoolmaster, now best known as a rhetorician. He has been described as effectively a professional textbook writer. After the failure of his school, he worked as an actuary.
Some of Jamieson’s background is obscure. He was born at Rothesay, Bute, to William Jamieson, a wheelwright, and Margaret Stewart. In 1821 he obtained a degree of M.A. from Marischal College, Aberdeen, and an LL.D. there in 1823. In 1825 he was admitted as a sizar at St John’s College, Cambridge, and became a ten-year man. In 1826 he became a member of the Astronomical Society of London.
Jamieson was active in the period 1814–46 writing textbooks and running a school. In 1824 it was teaching at Heston House on Hounslow Heath, where some Hindustani was on the syllabus. From 1826 to 1838 it was at Wyke House Academy in Middlesex, which was advertised as a preparation for the Army, Navy, civil engineers, architects and surveyors. Among his pupils there was George Windsor Earl; John Rouse Bloxam also taught there.
Jamieson was declared bankrupt in 1838. He then worked as an actuary. Towards the end of his life he suffered a stroke, then moved to Bruges in Belgium with his wife Frances (née Thurtle), known as a writer, whom he had married in 1820. She was the author of the relatively successful Ashford Rectory; or, The Spoiled Child Reformed. Containing a short introduction to the sciences of architecture and heraldry… He died in Bruges in 1850.
One of his works was Celestial Atlas (1822) that was inspired by the star atlas of Johann Elert Bode, but restricted itself to stars that could be seen with the naked eye. It further inspired Urania’s Mirror, a work that has been attributed to Richard Rouse Bloxam.